Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Thanksgiving Day 2015

Romans 8:32

He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

112015 Ray McDonaldThanksgiving comes once a year – as does Christmas – Easter – Pentecost – etc.  Yet we don’t have to limit our thankfulness to one day – do we?  If your family is like mine – when we gather to give thanks over the bounty on Thanksgiving – we pause to give thanks for something specific – everyone at the table.  It is a touching time – and watching our family age before our eyes – year after year – brings a nostalgic note too.

I’m the crier in the family.  An example was nearly six years ago when I totally lost it at my wife’s 50th birthday party – not sure why – other than just honoring her for the awesome woman of God she has always been.  Tears will flow for most any reason from my eyes.  With the holidays coming I will shed tears when I watch It’s a Wonderful Life for the 100th time – and even watching Charlie Brown Christmas will bring tears. Continue reading

November 26, 2015 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 15

Psalm 51:1-2

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

01032015 RayHave mercy on me/us dear Lord as we enter our third and final week of the 21 Day Prayer/Fast.  As we embark on the end of this journey and prepare for the next – be ever before us – with us and behind us.  During Lent (and a little before) we will enter into a 40-Day time of reading through the entire New Testament.  Stay tuned for more information later.

I want to ask a question that I have asked a number of times during the prayer/fast – What have we learned through the 21-Day Prayer/Fast?  What has God revealed to us?  What is God saying to us – to our family – and to our church?

The Psalmist – reading from Psalm 51:1-19 – begins with today’s verses – Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.  As we enter this final week of the 21-Day Prayer/Fast – I challenge us to ask God to examine our deepest thoughts – our deepest hurts – our deepest sins – our very soul. Continue reading

January 19, 2015 Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Is Your Favorite Christmas Movie?

The Christmas Spirit

Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin  will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 

Pic of Ray 11302014OK – just a simple question this morning – not much of a devotional thought – but what is your favorite Christmas movie of all time?  With Christmas being abused by commercialism – what Christmas movie or even TV show – do you think brings out the spirit of Christmas the best.  It doesn’t have to be a religious movie – but one that reminds you the most of the true Christmas spirit. Continue reading

December 16, 2014 Posted by | Advent Thought, Christmas, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Personal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wipe Every Tear From Our Eyes

Revelation 21:4

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

profileI’ve confessed this before on my blog page – I’m a crier. It doesn’t take much for me to shed tears. I was watching Frozen with my granddaughter recently and the tension between the sisters – the loneliness they both experienced – brought tears to my eyes. I wasn’t bawling – like I have for some other shows or events in my life – but tears came to my eyes none-the-less.

I could bore you with a long list of things that make me cry – like I’ll breakdown and cry when I think of my dad who passed 20 months ago – I’ll cry every year when I watch It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart – I’ll cry when a video on Facebook has a touching story.  I’ve been known to cry when a person trying out for one of those singing shows does very well and their story is touching.  I could go on-and-on.  Hi – I’m Ray – I’m a crier!

Today’s passage brings me hope that someday – my tears will end. I am comfortable with my tears most of the time – realizing that I just have a sensitive side – emotions that are raw at times – but the idea of wiping every tear from my eyes is appealing. Continue reading

May 15, 2014 Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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